1. A Brand is Not a Logo…
… and a logo is not a brand (but it is a good place to start). A strong, well-thought-out logo helps to give your business a singularity to build on, and to focus your beliefs, strengths and products. Without putting thought into a decent logo, you’re just providing a solution to a problem you’re yet to encounter. Your logo is your face; if you’re happy to get up in the morning, slap on a bolognese-stained T-shirt, yesterday’s knickers and proclaim: “I’m ready to take on the world!” then maybe you don’t need to worry about it. But most of us like to look a little better, so a logo is the head and shoulders of your business.
2. Branding Goes Much Deeper Than You Think
A good business is recognised by more than your mark. It’s recognised by colour, typeface, the way the text communicates to the reader and even the way you speak to your customers. It may be your thing to be happy, to be always welcoming and accommodating. It may be your thing to be down right rude and sarcastic (there’s a famous bar in New York that has these very traits as part of their brand!). Whatever your brand is, you can’t finish designing your logo and think you’re done for the day.
3. Branding is There to Help You Understand Your Product or Service
Good branding creates a solidarity that your staff/team can get on board with. All-too-often businesses have little direction internally; some guys perform one way, others perform another way. A good brand ethos can help bring all those things under the same roof and help the business perform as a team and improve production.
4. It Doesn’t Have to Be a Mire of Corporate Rules to Follow
Just because your industry is usually full of blue-suited fat cats with their horn-rimmed eyes firmly focused on financial spreadsheets, that doesn’t mean you have to be. Having a good brand ethos is also having the ability to do things differently within your industry. It helps set you apart, and lets your vision be seen and heard. Your brand could be to change everything; to do impossible things; to make sure everything that you produce is innovative and breaks the mould.
5. Good Branding Starts with a Good Mission Statement
If you can’t articulate what you do in a single sentence, how are your customers supposed to know? “Ah! But we have a very niche product that only people in the industry need to know!”…rubbish! You should have a clear layman’s terms statement that even your gran off her face on painkillers could understand.
To truly understand the way you need to look, speak, write, dance—a professional worth their salt will help you focus in the right direction and with the correct purpose. Please don’t leave your brand open to your sister’s boyfriend’s uncle who once won a colouring competition in year 11—it’s not worth sacrificing your business for. You wouldn’t let him decorate your house, so why get him to design your logo?